The Akosombo dam

The immediate past Chairman of the Volta River Authority (VRA), Kweku Andoh Awotwi, says the Akosombo dam could serve the country for another 50 years if the current regular maintenance regime instituted by the management continues.

He said the VRA has done very well to maintain the hydropower supply plant because of the strict adherence to a routine maintenance culture.

“I noticed at firsthand that every four or five years, there are studies on the dam itself to check the civil, structural integrity of the dam. And they’re quite meticulous as one would expect,” he said.

The former Tullow boss was responding to a question in an interview on Accra-based Asaase Radio on Sunday regarding whether or not the Akosombo Dam, which supplies nearly 40% of the country’s electricity needs, is still fit for purpose.

The former Chief Executive Officer of the VRA revealed that the turbines at both the Akosombo and Kpong Dams are also regularly maintained and retrofitted.

“Once in every cycle of five to ten years, each of the turbines is retrofitted. Akosombo has six units, and retrofitting of all four units at Kpong was completed last year.

“Through this process, you are replacing everything and basically making it new and more efficient. So that structure should be standing for the next 50 years,” he said.

The Board Chairman of The Multimedia Group’s comment comes at a time when the nation is experiencing intermittent power supply from the national grid.

The challenge with regular power supply has engendered a national debate over whether or not the problem could be attributed to generating electricity.

Mr Awotwi believes the current challenges facing the power sector is attributable to inefficiencies in the transmission space.

“Today, the story is very different. We have a lot of generation capacity available. But the problem actually relates to challenges along the transmission chain, from generation through the transmission to distribution to customers,” he explained.